The Best Place to Take your Family on Vacation: Ocean Park, Maine
Ocean Park, Maine
Where is it?
This quaint vacation town is in South Eastern Maine, just outside of Portland, Biddeford and Saco. Old Orchard Beach is just a bike ride away, yet this community is far different than the wild nightlife of OOB, Maine. Beautiful beaches line the coast, while houses of all sizes and names line the streets. The traditional centre lies in the middle of it all, where several shops, parlors and community buildings compose the entirety of this "Chautauqua-By-The-Sea". Just down Temple Ave the forests span the remainder of the town while more houses, camping site and the church are scattered throughout.
Ocean Park was founded in 1881 and was originally part of the Free Will Baptist group, for this reason, a sense of community still thrives in the town. Often described as "Chautauqua-By-The-Sea," Ocean Park provides entertainment, education and relaxation. The community is non-denominational and has been a summer retreat for families spanning the country for 134 years. The founders are not the only ones adding history, it is the families that return year after year that contribute to this home away from home. Most likely, summer vacationers are second or third generation Ocean Park enthusiasts. This history can be seen in The Soda Fountain in the center where pictures cover the main wall, showing children and families throughout the ages - weddings, holiday cards, baby pictures. This town continues to bring families back year after year, summer after summer, forming bonds with neighbors and locals alike.
Why is this the perfect family vacation?
The Bahamas, Aruba, Disney World, Hawaii, France, California - this probably composes some of the places that pop to mind when you think about a family vacation. An exotic getaway, swimming with dolphins, meeting Mickey and Minnie. While these memories may last a lifetime, it is the community of Ocean Park that will actually continue for a lifetime. This an affordable vacation spot that always keeps you coming back. You will bring your family here, your kids will bring their family here, their kids will bring their family here, can you see a pattern? If the beaches alone don't leave you wanting more, your friendships with the neighbors will make you return year after year. If not this, the close proximity to Old Orchard Beach, or the kayaking, fishing, hiking, lectures, biking and sun rises will have you returning for weeks during the summer months. Summer rentals are a piece of cake and pain free, and most homes are just houses away from the beach! This is no exaggeration, you can come and go as you please. Stopping into the cottage for a nice lunch and a break from the sun, and in just minutes you'll be back out there, catching the waves or walking towards the pier. At Ocean Park, the worries of your work or school will instantly be left behind as the familiar sea breeze wafts through the streets and the enticing ice cream melts in your mouth as you sit on that lifeguard chair.
Have I convinced you yet?
If you're still wondering, why bring my family to this town I've never once heard of, let me dish out some of the best things to do on your vacation here:
- TAKE IN THOSE RAYS! The beaches are unlike any other on the Maine coast. It spans 7 miles, from the jetties down South to the white sandy beaches heading North. On any day you could find loads of sea treasures as the tide washes in and out. At the same time, as the crowds die down and the dogs take to the beach, body surfers ride the waves in as the sun begins to set.
- Fishing: for any fisherman out there, there are striper's to be found in the Maine Ocean. Whether you're an early riser or a night owl, each has it'sown unique characteristics on the salty shores.
- For all you foodies out there, not only is the ice cream and breakfast at the Soda Fountain divine, Old Orchard Beach is just 2 miles down the road. Lisa's pizza, known for it's fried dough is just one of the many local restaurants you'll find in the area. From pizza to Mexican to Italian the food is unless. Most importantly, the fresh Maine lobsters are a favorite. There's nowhere else to get authentic Northern seafood than Maine. And, HEY, those calories don't count on vacations!
- For the outdoorsy in you, not only can you walk the beaches during sun rise and sun set, the forests are also equipped for the bike riders. The water activities are numerous as well, from kayak rentals to para sailing right down the road, you'll get your fill of the water by the end of your stay for sure. If you're really ambitious, you can even sign up for the annual 5k every summer!
- Maybe the most unique is the sense of community inherent in Ocean Park. Lectures, magicians, dance and yoga classes, shuffleboard, fireworks, book club meetings, art fairs - these are just some of the free of charge activities available at Ocean Park. You are sure to meet wonderful people from all walks of life in this town.
- Not only will you have access to the relaxation of Ocean Park, many popular Maine towns are just a drive, or even a walk away. Old Orchard Beach is also home to an amusement park, which is a favorite among kids. The pier also accommodates many individuals with bars, authentic vacation shops and candy galore. Scarborough, several miles North, is home to a famous horse racing track where you and your family can spend a night experiencing something new and exciting.
Your next step
Pick up that phone and plan that unforgettable summer vacation. Or vacations I should say, because I can guarantee you'll be going make for many a year.
Ocean Park Official Site and Realty
- Ocean Park (ME)
Ocean Park Association,Ocean Park Maine, Chautauqua, Chautauqua-by-the-sea